Openly Gay Imam Reacts to Sunday's Shooting in Orlando

Imam Daayiee Abdullah preaches "progressive Islam"

— -- Members of the LGBT community descended upon New York City's Stonewall Inn last night to gather together after a terrorist killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub. Many in attendance didn't know exactly why they came, but they knew the community would be there.

Others knew exactly why they came. "I was hoping to hear a clear condemnation of Islamophobia," said Brian Kates, a film editor standing by the NYPD-erected railing. "We should show solidarity with everyone. The gay community is the Muslim community, and the Muslim community is the gay community," he said.

Imam Daayiee Abdullah is a living embodiment of that sentiment. "Being a person of color adds to that intersectionality," Abdullah told ABC News.

Abdullah, a self-described "progressive Muslim," and executive director of the MECCA Institute, is one of the few openly gay Imams in the world. The institute, which will open its doors next year, "will teach an inclusive and progressive Islamic theology," Abdullah said. "We really have to think about how we educate people, otherwise we'll remain segregated, sequestered and divided."

Abdullah's reaction to the Sunday morning shooting echoed the defiant tone of the Stonewall Inn vigil. "I'm happy to see this massacre will have a much different result," he said of the different communities coming together, but he acknowledges it won't be easy. "I think it does require that people grow. There is Islamophobia in many communities."

While Abdullah says he no longer "shakes his butt on the dance floor" during Pride, he does plan on manning a booth at some point during the month of celebrations. "Pride has changed a lot," he said, "it's become more corporate, more commercial." He reminisced on the days when Pride was more of a political statement, when the purpose was "to unite in a common cause."

The LGBT community may have a new common cause to rally behind. "Gun control is just good common sense," said Abdullah, whose own parents were gun owners. "We need to have much stronger concern over the fallacy of the 'good guy with a gun.'"

Abdullah is not alone in his plea for common sense gun laws. "Gun control is not a key issue that our community has latched onto, until now," Jarrett Lucas, executive director of the Stonewall Community Foundation, told ABC News at the vigil where many attendees held signs with slogans like NRA = Death.

For his part, Abdullah hopes to be a "positive voice" in the Muslim community and the LGBT community. "Violence is never an answer to resolve issues of political, religious, racial or ethical differences," he said in a statement on the attack.